Tuesday, June 28, 2011

news published in the Pioneer of March29,to May14

Dear all
I enclose the news published in the Pioneer of March29,to May14 for your perusal
Yours
SudhirMishra
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Sun, Mar 29, 2009 at 6:52 AM
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Triangular contest on the cards in Patnagarh
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PNS | Balangir

The breaking of 11-year-old BJP-BJD alliance in the State, set the stage for triangular contests in almost places in this general election in Orissa, has a cascading effect in the district especially in the Patnagarh Assembly constituency, with members of royal family contesting against each other.

Supposed to be the stronghold of BJP, Patnagarh Assembly segment, represented thrice by KV Singh Deo of BJP, will witness a keenly fought triangular contest this time.

The major political parties in fray this time are the BJP, BJD and the Congress.

KV Singh Deo won from the constituency in 2004 election defeating his nearest rival of the Congress Vivekananda Meher. However this time, KV is going to be not only challenged by Meher but Prakruti Devi of the BJD.

The BJD has filed Pakruti Devi as its candidate from the seat, after the breaking of alliance. She is the wife of Sribardhan Singh Deo, the brother of KV Singh Deo.

This is going to create an unpleasant situation for KV Singh Deo as one member of his family is his rival contestant.

“People of Pantanagarh constituency want a change and the response of the people during my tour is quite encouraging. Many areas are without the basic infrastructural facility, alleged Pakruti Devi.

“We would highlight these issues, besides, the pro-poor and welfare measures undertaken by Naveen Patnaik including the rice at Rs two per kg. I promise to present a developed Patanagarh once elected,” she said further.

The same feeling was echoed by BJD district president Kalikesh Singh Deo “Patnagarh Assembly constituency has suffered a lot because of the continuous neglect of the sitting MLA and MP and people want a change. The BJD workers are in upbeat mood after winning as many as five wards in Patnagarh NAC in the election to urban local bodies.

The BJD candidate Pakruti Devi is going to win from there” asserts Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo. However, KV Singhdeo rebuts and said “My developmental work is my identity. People of Patnagarh know me very well .The main issue this time is to carry further the developmental work that I have undertaken during the last 15years in the constituency.”

In a democratic country every one is free to contest, said KV Singh Deo The situation is not all an unpleasant one and I am not at all worried about Prakruti Devi contesting election further. He however, down played it by quipping “it is a non issue”.

“I am confident of my victory”, said KV Singhdeo. The Congress will highlight the failure of the BJP and BJD Government and its incapability in implementing the Central Government programmes, said a Congress functionary. Bedsides this, the Samruddha Odisha has also fielded a tribal Basanta Majhi and Baidyanath Mishra of the Kosal Kranti Dal is also contesting.

Mar 31, 2009 at 4:16 AM

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Narasingha, Kalikesh file papers for Balangir LS seat

PNS | Balangir
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On the last day of filing of nominations for the first-phase elections, Congress candidate for the Balangir Lok Sabha seat Narasingha Mishra filed his papers on Monday. This time people are going to reject the BJP and the BJD and the Congress will not only win the parliamentary seat but also all its seven Assembly segments, Mishra claimed while talking to mediapersons after filing the nomination.

Later, BJD district president Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo came in a procession of thousands of his supporters and filed his nominations as the BJD candidate for the Lok Sabha seat. Speaking to reporters, he said, “I am contesting election to serve the people of Balangir and Sonepur districts and ensure peace, prosperity and the development of the area.”

“The case of Balangir has not been represented properly. Once elected, I will represent the case of Balangir in a better way. More development work will be undertaken to ensure prosperity of this region,” Singh Deo added. He referred to the development works undertaken in the Saintala constituency during his tenure as its MLA.

Among others, the Kosal Kranti Dal candidate for the Balangir Lok Sabha seat, Bhibudutta Mishra, also field his nomination papers
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Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 5:32 AM



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BJP-BJD battle hots up
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Sudhir Mishra | Balangir

With barely nine days left for the date of polling, political parties have stepped up their efforts to woo voters and the campaigning is in full swing in Balangir district. Out of the five Assembly constituencies in the district, Patnagarh is witnessing a stiff contest between the erstwhile allies, the BJP and the BJD, incidentally represented by two political rival members of the Balangir royal family.

The Patnagarh fight is between sitting BJP MLA and former Minister Kanak Vardhan Singh Deo and his younger brother’s wife, BJD candidate Prakruti Devi Singh Deo. Lending further seriousness to the electoral battle, KV Singh Deo’s mother Rajmata Premlata Devi has come out for the first time and is appealing to voters to support Prakruti Devi. Besides, the Rajmata is also openly backing KV Singh Deo’s cousin and BJD nominee Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo who is contesting for the Balangir Lok Sabha seat.

It not for the first time that the members of the royal family are fighting against each other. In the 1991 and 1996 Parliamentary elections, KV Singh Deo (BJP) and his uncle AU Singh Deo (erstwhile Janata Dal) had fought unsuccessfully from Balangir LS seat, resulting in the victory of their Congress rival. Later, the alliance between the BJP and the BJD, under which the LS seat was allotted to the BJP, had enabled KV’s wife Sangeeta Kumari Singh Deo to win the polls three times consecutively in 1998, 1998 and 2004. Now, with the breakup, the intra-royal family political rivalry has worsened further.

Three-time Patnagarh MLA KV Singh Deo, however, observes, “In politics, nothing is unpleasant. It is for the voters to decide and elect whom they consider the best. I am confident of my victory as I have done a lot of developmental works here.”

On the other hand, Prakruti Devi says people want a change as the Patnagarh Assembly constituency area is lacking the basic infrastructure facilities all these years. “Once voted, I will strive to work for an all-round development of the constituency.”

The visit of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to various parts of the Patnagarh constituency on Monday boosted the morale of the BJD workers. The BJD would win both the Patnagarh Assembly seat and the Balangir LS seat this time, asserted BJD district president Kalikesh Singh Deo.
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BHUBANESWAR | Saturday, April 11, 2009 | Email | Print |

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Keen BJD-BJP-Cong fight in Balangir LS seat

Sudhir Mishra | Balangir

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As the April 16 election is drawing nearer, all attention is focused on the performances of the two members of the Balangir royal family fighting against each other as BJP and BJD candidates and the third contestant from the Congress in the Balangir Parliamentary constituency.

The scenario revives the memory of the 1991 and 1996 elections when Congress took advantage of the division of anti-Congress votes and managed to win. Kanak Vardhan Singh Deo of the BJP had fought against his uncle AU Singh Deo of the then Janata Dal in the 1991and 1996 polls. Their Congress opponent was Sarat Pattanaik, who came out victorious both the times.

However, the BJD-BJP alliance stopped the division of the anti-Congress votes since 1998 and enabled BJP candidate Sangeeta Singh Deo, wife of KV Singh Deo, to win the seat in 1998, 1999 and in 2004.

Now with the breakdown in the BJD-BJP alliance, members of the royal family are again pitted against each other. Sangeeta is seeking reelection, with Narasingh Mishra of the Congress and Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo of the BJD, son of AU Singh Deo, being her opponents. Sangeeta considers the Congress as her number one challenger.

Kalikesh Singh Deo, who says peace and prosperity of Balangir are his major poll issues and he will try to act as the voice of the people of the area in Parliament, claims that he is confident of winning the seat. The people of Balangir want a young and new face, he asserts.

However, the Congress is making underdevelopment of the area its major issue. “A strong and capable people’s representative should be sent to New Delhi to ensure development of this area,” pointed out a Congress functionary.

Sangeeta describes her cousin Kalikesh as Bhashmasur, stating that a few years ago she used to take him to be acquainted with the constituency but now he dares to finish her.

The Balangir Lok Sabha constituency has seven Assembly segments across the districts of Balangir and Subarnapur-Balangir, Titilagarh, Patnagarh, Loisingha, Kantabanji, Sonepur and Birmaharajpur.
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Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 6:44 AM

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Migrant labourers become poll issue in Balangir
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Sudhir Mishra | Balangir

As schedule for first phase of the elections is coming closer and politicians are trying to woo voters by all means, the issue of migrant labourers from this district, their voting rights and their rehabilitation is gaining momentum.

The Samuhik Marudi Pratikar Udyam, an organisation of 16 CBO/NGOs working in Balangir for drought mitigation has raised this issue, along with other issues.

“Every year around 1.5 lakh people migrate from this district in search of jobs to outside States and thus they are debarred from their voting rights and other entitlement,” said Convenor of SMPU, Jatin Patra, while speaking to mediapersons recently. They also demanded identification and rehabilitation of the migrants from the district as a bonded labourers.

“After consulting the member organisations and villagers, we have decided to submit a list of demands to all the contesting candidates from this area,” said Brahmananda Sahu.

The main aim of this exercise is to sensitise the villagers about the real issues of Balangir and to teach a lesson to the elected representatives so that in future these issues are addressed properly, he said.

“After elections, we can at least show the leaders about their acceptance of these demands and get an assurance from them to take up necessary steps in this regard,” he added.

He said villagers had already submitted their demands to Pakruti Devi, Narsingha Mishra and other candidates from Balangir.

Their charter of demands includes identification of around one and half lakh migrant labourers from the district, treat them as bonded labourers and take necessary steps for rehabilitation and providing them all other Government facilities besides making arrangement to cast their vote, appointment of teachers in primary schools and ensuring their presence and supply of land to landless villagers within the next six months.

Besides, they also demanded proper implementation of Forest Rights Bill 2006, identification of physically-challenged people in the district and provide free bus passes to them, all profits derived from kendu leaf trade to be spent in kendu leaf producing areas and the names of all kendu leaf pluckers must be in their card, preparation of micro-level planning with people’s participation for all development work, giving priority to small and marginal farmers in Orissa Agricultural Policy 2008, processing of non-timber forest produce and its selling through government machinery, utilization of at least 50 per cent of MPLAD and MLALAD funds for pure drinking water and social work, and hike in total number of working days under NREGS from the present 100 days to 200 days in KBK region.
Wed, Apr 15, 2009 at 8:46 AM
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Parties vie to provide subsidised rice
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Sudhir Mishra | Balangir

Ever since the Naveen Patnaik Government announced to supply rice at Rs 2 per kg to all the Below Povert Line families in the State and to both BPL and APL families of the KBK region, it has caused worries among the other political parties as it was one of the easiest and safest methods to win the hearts of the voters.

As the polling date approached, political parties started promising the moon and they also started promising to supply rice at subsidised prices. The first to react was the Congress. It claimed that the State Government was giving only Rs 3 for the entire scheme and the major chunk of the scheme was borne by the Central Government.

If the Congress Government is voted to power it would provide rice at Rs 1 and dal, salt at subsidised prices to the poor people, announced senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra, while addressing a workers conference in the town.

On the contrary, a few days later the All India Congress Committee (AICC) released its manifesto saying that it would provide rice at Rs three if voted to power. Few days later the Congress in its State manifesto once again claimed that it would provide rice at Rs 1, besides providing dal, salt and onion at subsidised rates if voted to power.

The Bharatiya Janata Party went a step ahead as it promised to provide rice at Rs 1, dal at Rs 5 and salt free of cost. Moreover, according to a report, if the Biju Janata Dal is voted to power, Patnaik announced that it would hike the quantity of rice given under this scheme from 25 kg to 35 kg. The voters are going to take this seriously as they have seen the implementation of it. However, all the parties conveniently forget that mere announcement of schemes is not enough. There are several procedural difficulties at the implementation level which prevents the benefits reaching the poor people.

Even as the subsidised rice at rupees greatly benefited people of KBK and other areas, yet many were deprived of getting the benefit because the new BPL survey list has not been finalised and the scheme is working on the basis of the 1997 BPL survey.

If any party sincerely wants the subsidised rice go to poor people, it should streamline the distribution process and cheek all loopholes in the delivery system and should ready the list on the basis of which it should work.

Even as political parties are making tall promises and their politics over the subsidised rice is going on, the price of rice touched a minimum Rs18 and the flour has touched Rs 19-20 per per kg.

Amidst all this, the price of salt has touched Rs 10 per kg and onion at Rs12 to 24 and potato Rs 12. With reports of a price hike in store after the polls they are at a loss what to do? Is any body listening?
16-04-2009
Candidates woo voters with wine, money
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Sudhir Mishra | Balangir

As the first phase of elections are going to be held on Thursday, the candidates are trying to woo voters by any means, including personal contacts, door to door campaigning, distribution of liquor and money.

And there are complaints of money and liquor being distributed to woo voters. Reports said in Kantabanji police detained a person going to a village to distribute liquor pouches and money. There are reports that in Kantabanji constituency huge amounts of money is being used to influence voters.

The BJD is trying to win the election by using the administration and police. An aide of a BJD leader while going to distribute money in Upperjhar village of Degaon block was caught by people and the police were informed. But the cops helped them to take way the money. The Superintendent of Police assaulted a Congress worker and took away his ballot papers, alleged Congress MP candidate Narasingha Mishra.

Similarly, in Patanagarh although there was permission for only three vehicles’ around 300 vehicles were used for nominations of the BJD candidate. “I have drawn the attention of election observer in this regard,” Mishra further said.

Immediately after the information, the police reached the spot and surrounded the vehicle and the in the presence of magistrate the vehicle was searched and nothing incriminating was found, said SP Sanjiv Arora speaking to The Pioneer.

On the allegation that he assaulted a Congress worker and snatched away the forms and other papers, SP Sanjiv Arora refuted the allegations. He informed, “I was just verifying the paper after the campaign hours was over and seeing me he just fled away.”

“We have taken steps in this regard. Immediately after the information we sent our officers and searched the vehicle and nothing incriminating was found. The vehicle has been seized, said the district Collector Asked to comment on the “mysterious” bag allegedly containing money, he said, “We have no such information from our officers.”
Apr 28, 2009 at 5:04 PM
=Balangir, Titilagarh reel under heat wave

Pioneer News Service | Balangir

With the daily temperature remaining above 42 degree Celsius, severe heat wave condition is prevailing in Balangir district since more than a week, badly affecting normal life. Adding to the woes of people, problems like low voltage power supply, less discharge of water from tube-wells, drying up of ponds and irregular supply of pipe water has made the situation worse.

According to the local meteorological station, while the maximum temperature recorded on April 15 was 41.2 degree Celsius, it soared to 45.4 degree Celsius within six days, as recorded on Tuesday. Due to such heat wave condition, it has become difficult to come out door between 10.30 am and 5.30 pm.

Besides Balangir, the hottest place in the State Titilagrah is also reeling under a heat wave with temperature hovering above 42 degree Celsius. On April 17, Titilagrh recorded maximum 41.5 degree Celsius temperature and with 0.5 degree Celsius rise everyday, the mercury touched 44.2 degree Celsius mark on April 21.

The life of denizens of Titilagrh has come to a standstill with problems associated with the temperature rise. Due to low voltage of electricity, water cannot be supplied to distant areas.

The low voltage and frequent power cuts in Titilagrah is due to absence of grid. The demand to establish a grid at the town is yet to be sanctioned, rues Promod Pradhan, a resident of the town. Once it is established, the problem of low voltage and other power related disturbances would be solved, he said, while pointing out the worse condition of 10 air conditioned cabins in the hospital that were remaining defunct since a year due to shortage of staff nurses and other staff.

According to CDMO PC Sahu, sunstroke treatment cabins were opened in all PHCs and CHCs in the district with water cooler and all essential medicines. At each of the sub-divisional and district headquarters hospital, one air-conditioned cabin has been earmarked for treatment of sunstroke patients.

Replying to a query on the non -functioning of AC cabins at Titilagarh, Sahu said that they have only 27 staff nurses against the requirement of 64. They have appealed to the NRHM for appointment of more nurses.

Several ponds and non-perennial rivers like Undeer have been dried up. Few months ago, the river wrought flood havoc in the area, points out a villager. The drying up of ponds and rivers also added to the rising of temperature in the area, he added.

In villages Pudapali and Purniapali under Bongomunda block, residents are facing a lot of trouble due to damage of handles of tube-wells.

“We are getting almost boiled water due to high temperature from our overhead tank over our house till night, says a resident of Titilagrh. However, this is the beginning and by the real summer month of May till the first week of June, people of both the rural and urban areas are sure to go through a grueling summer,” says a resident.

Balangir
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Prompt repair of defunct tubewells
Thu, May 14, 2009 at 5:49 AM
PNS | Balangir

Even as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has directed officials to repair defunct tube-wells within 48 hours of receiving complaint, ground realities present a different picture.

According to a survey carried out by the Regional Centre for Development and Cooperation in collaboration with eight other NGOs in the first week of May across the State, including Balangir district, the situation comes as a shocking revelation. As against the directive to repair tube-wells within 48 hours, it is taking as long as 27 days in Balangir where water crisis is a perennial affair.

A PRI member of the survey team said: “We carried out a survey in Patnagarh, Puintala, Deogaon and Gudvella blocks. Out of the 18 tube-wells we surveyed in five gram panchayats of Patnagarh block we found that 11 are defunct.” A Panchayati Raj representative told the survey team that block authorities are taking a lot of time for repairing defunct tube-wells. “Earlier we had the authority to purchase spare parts. Now, as we are not allowed to buy the parts, it is taking at least 27 to 28 days to repair tube-wells in Patnagarh block,” revealed the PRI member of the survey team.

In Puintala block, out of 11 tube-wells, seven are defunct. Here also, repairing takes a long time due to same reason. Moreover, much to the surprise of the survey team, the mobile van meant for repairing work is being used for private functions like marriage. Similarly in Deogoan block, out of 148 tube-wells, 80 are defunct, and in Gudvella block, out of 23 tube-wells, 8 are defunct. The awareness rate among the villagers about the Chief Minister’s directives on immediate repair of tube-wells is almost non-existent due to very low readership of vernacular Oriya newspapers in the region.

However, much to the surprise of the survey team, the toll free number of the RWSS department meant to receive telephonic complaints of defunct tube-wells is not functioning anywhere in the State. But people of Balangir lodged their complaints in the control room itself, which is not seen in other parts of Orissa, the survey said. When contacted, the coordinator of survey team, Dr Manoj Mahapatra pointed out that the main cause of the ineffectiveness of the Chief Minister’s declaration is that it has been done without any ground level preparation. There is severe lack of coordination between the water resources department and RWSS engineers.

However, in Balangir, it has been found district RWSS officials have taken ample and satisfactory steps for creating public awareness. However, declining ground water table, partial engagement of self-employed mechanics (SEMs) and inadequate number of mobile vans with trained personnel are the main reasons for which the district takes approximately 27 days to repair a defunct tube-well, irrespective of CM’s declaration for repairing tube-wells within 48 hours of complaint.

Community awareness in Balangir is much higher than in other parts of Orissa, pointed out a member of the survey team. According to sources, out of around 13,000 tube-wells in Balangir district, around 2,200 are lying defunct. There seems to be lack of coordination between different stakeholders of RWSS, water resources and other wings which is affecting the service delivery mechanism, causing people to suffer, sources alleged.
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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Samajwadi Party decries oil, gas price hike

BHUBANESWAR | Sunday, June 26, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back

June 25, 2011 11:52:38 PM
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Samajwadi Party decries oil, gas price hike
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Balangir: The Balangir district unit of the Samajwadi party on Saturday condemned the decision of the UPA Government to hike the price of diesel, LPG and kerosene. The price hike would hit the common man most, said district party president Arun Mishra. The common men are already reeling under the burden of inflation and rising prices of essential commodities, he said and demanded rollback of the hike in the prices of the petroleum products.

HSC exam topper wants to be doctor June 26, 2011 12:06:40 AM

BHUBANESWAR | Sunday, June 26, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back


HSC exam topper wants to be doctor
June 26, 2011 12:06:40 AM

SUDHIR MISHRA | Balangir

Surpassing all the earlier records, Sarthak Pradhan, a student of Kadampada Saraswati Sishu Mandir here, secured the top position in the HSC Examinations, 2011 published on Saturday by securing 586marks.

“I lost two marks in mathematics due to an error, otherwise my total mark would have gone further,” said Sarthak, adding, “I used to study for 10 -12 hours a day regularly and in exam time, it was a little more.” Sarthak maintained that tuition is not all necessary but on specific subjects it is essential to clarify doubts.

When asked about the aim of his life, Sarthak said, “As many members of my family are well placed in the engineering jobs, I would like to be a doctor with human values.” Sarthak, however, said that in Balangir, there are good colleges and teaching has been quite good. “Rather than going to study in colleges of Bhubneswar, I would like to pursue higher study here,” Sarthak asserted and gave credit to his parents, teachers and all other members of his family, besides blessing of God for his success.

Sarthak’s parents BK Pradhan and Shenhalata Pradhan hail from Kendrapada district. Pradhan, a science teacher in Manoharpur police high school, admitted that since class V, Sarthak was good in studies.

“Not only in studies, in debate and essay writings also Sathak has won a lot of prizes,” Pradhan said.

Since last three years, students of our schools have been securing top positions in HSC examination. This year five students of our school have secured positions. Besides Sarthak, the others have bagged 7th, 9th, 13th and 17th positions, informed Dilip Padhee headmaster of Kadampada Saraswati Sishu Mandir.

The pass percentage of the district has improved this year and a total of 66 per cent students have passed, said SK Singh CI of schools in Balangir.
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am posting some of the old news published in the Pioneer.Now, you can read Devi Bhagabata in Oriyaioneer for your perusal

Dear all
I am posting some of the old news published in the Pioneer for your perusal
Yours
SudhirMishra
News of 2009
21-2-2009
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Now, you can read Devi Bhagabata in Oriya
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Sudhir Mishra | Balangir

Now, Devi Bhagabata can be read, recited and heard in Oriya as well, thanks to Swami Shakti Bhusananda Saraswati of Shakti Bhavan Yogashram of Deogan near Balangir whose Herculean efforts in translating the seminal work into Oriya has made it possible. Millions of followers of the Shakti cult in Orissa can now study and understand the work much better in their native language.

The holy Srimad Bhagabata, written by sage Byasa Deva and translated into Oriya by Atibari Jagannath Das is entwined in the lives of millions of Oriya people as it is read, recited and worshipped by people all over Orissa. However, there is another Bhagabata written by Sage Byasa Deva called Devi Bhagabata which is relatively unknown to people. The Devi Bhagabata, another work of great significance describing the cosmic power in Sanskrit remains unnoticed, explains Swami Shakti Bhusananda Saraswati of Shakti Bhavan Yogashram of Deogan near Balangir.

Like the Oriya Srimad Bhagabata of Jagannath Das, my Oriya version of Devi Bhagabata also contains 18,000 slokas in 18 chapters. The epic describes that Shakti is the moving force and without Shakti everything including wisdom and intelligence is meaningless, he explained further.

"I came across the Devi Bhagabata 20 years ago and became so much influenced by its philosophy that I delved into it like fish to water and started studying the epic deeply. After gaining a thorough knowledge and expertise on the subject, I started translating it into Oriya only six years ago in 2003," he said.

Although there are lots of Puranas, nowhere the concept of Shakti has been given so much importance like in the Devi Bhagabata, he juxtaposed citing references. Knowledge, devotion and power are essential ingredients of religious scriptures but both knowledge and devotion are under the control of power and without power nothing moves, he explained further.

Elaborating further, he said that if the syllable "Shi" is removed from the word 'Shiva,' it would be 'Sava' (meaning dead body). This sacred and powerful syllable "Shi" represents the Shakti (Cosmic Power) which is controlling the whole world.

The main difference between Devi Bhagabata and the Srimad Bhagabata is that Devi Bhagabata speaks more about the Shakti. While the recitation of Srimad Bhagabata is done for seven days, the recitation of the Devi Bhagabata is done for nine days, he said. The Srimad Bhagabata written by Byasa Deva was translated by Jagannath Das and popularized by the exponents of the Bhakti cult like Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and others who followed Vaishnavism.

As the Devi Bhagabata has been written in Oriya Nnabakshari form, it is hoped that it would be accepted by all and enjoy the same status as that of the Srimad Bhagabata.

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Sat, Jan 31, 2009 at 5:19 AM

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2 Ministers at loggerheads over location of Krishi Vigyan Kendra

Sudhir Mishra | Balangir
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In order to transfer modern technology to the farmers and to carry out research and other activities, the Indian Council of Agriculture Research decided to set up Krishi Vigyan Kendras in all the 30 districts of the State.

Balangir district which has a predominantly agrarian economy and paddy is the staple crop of the people, the decision to set up a Krishi Vigyan Kendra was welcomed by all hoping that paddy production and other activity would get a further boost here.

Not that people of the district were new to this type of activity. According to sources, prior to Independence the Rajendra Experimental (RE) farm was set up by the enlightened ruler of erstwhile Patna State Rajendra Narayan Singh Deo, to produce seeds and carry out research and other activity for development of agriculture and other crops. However, later it was handed over to the Government of Orissa.

Even today, in the RE farm, breeder and foundation seeds are produced .The paddy seeds are cultivated in over 36 hectares and a total of 1,000 quintals of breeder and foundation seeds are produced here.

The produced seeds are either sold to farmers or to the Orissa Seeds Corporation, which after purchasing it labels it as certified seeds and releases it in markets for cultivation, pointed out an agriculture official.

According to sources a team of representatives from OUAT visited the RE farm and they found it suitable in view of large infrastructure available, location near the district headquarter besides being within three km range of deputy director of agriculture and horticulture office for better contacts, exchanges and communication, said an official under the condition of anonymity. Accordingly, the land was transferred to OUAT three years ago. As other political representatives come to know about the setting up of this organisation here, they wanted to shift it to other places.

Besides RE farm, there are other seed producing farms at Mudghat, in Patnagarh, Desil in Titilagarh block. While in Mudghat farm, a total of 350 quintals of paddy seed are produced, the Desil farm is virtually at defunct stage. Besides this, there are two seed producing farms at Birmahajrpur and Rampur in Sonepur district which is also under the jurisdiction of Deputy Director of Agriculture Balangir. In Birmajahpur and in Rampur, Sonepur district, small amount of paddy seeds are produced. Moreover not only the paddy seeds, other experimentation in agricultural were carried out in the Rajendra Experimental farm.

Accordingly, it is best suited for establishment of Krishi Vigyan Kendra. However, the expectation of people were short lived .The move to set up Kendra was thwarted by the moves of politicians of the district. The difference of opinion between two Ministers of the district has affected the setting Krishi Vigyan Kendra here, said Agriculture Minister Surendra Nath Nayak during his recent visit here. According to sources, while AU Singh Deo favours setting up the Centre at Balangir, KV Singh Deo wants its to be set up at Mudghat in Patnagarh.

Fed up with the project hanging in balance since last three years, Saintal MLA Kalikesh Naryan Singh Deo has demanded setting it up at Titilagarh. "I have written a letter to Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar drawing his attention to this matter," said Kalikesh. While two powerful politicians have locked horns it is the people of the district who are deprived up getting the benefits.
Tue, Feb 17, 2009 at 10:14 PM

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Balangir medical college: A decade-long dream still distant
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Sudhir Mishra | Balangir


A decade is perhaps too long a time to commence and complete a project in the backward region of western Orissa to spur development process which however, appears to be a totally short time for the much-awaited and much-hyped medical college in Balangir.

Started in 1999 with the noble initiative of the then Chairman of the Western Orissa Development Council Narasingha Mishra, the proposed medical college to have a 1000-bed hospital apart from the college building and the construction activity had also kicked off with much pomp and fanfare.

However, after the change of State Government in 2000, the construction of the much-awaited medical college in Balangir came to a grinding halt.

In February 2004, on the eve of election, the foundation-stone for the medical college was laid by Chief Minster Naveen Patanik, rekindling hopes that it would be completed soon. The Jasar Foundation signed an MOU with the WODC to complete the work but unfortunately it never began. After Jasar Foundation, another charitable trust, the Balaji Trust of Pondicherry agreed to undertake the construction of the medical college.

We had worked on a war-footing basis to transfer the land to Balaji Education Trust for construction of the medical college. However, difference cropped up between the Balaji Education Trust and the Government over the terms and conditions of the lease deeds, says a tehsil official.

From 1999 to 2009, already ten years have passed and three interested parties for constructing the medical college came and went away without progressing further.

This has fuelled the feeling among the people that the Government is treating people of this region in a step-motherly manner. The non-completion of medical college at Balangir shows the step-motherly attitude of the Government towards this region and the Kosal Kranti Dal is opposing this since the beginning, pointed out President of Kosal Kranti Dal, Pramod Mishra while speaking to The Pioneer. The opposition is strangely remaining silent on this issue and is not actively taking up the matter, he alleged further.

The Government lacks political will to complete the medical college otherwise it is not a big task for the Government, says DCC general secretary Hemanta Panda. This reflects the step-motherly attitude of the Government towards the people of Balangir and western Orissa at large, he said further.

Fed up with the dilly-dallying of Government, several people of the region have started approaching private parties to set up a medical college here without Government assistance.

According to sources, the Sushree Group of Institutes, which is running a diploma engineering, BSc Nursing, Science College and an ITI, has stepped up its efforts to set up a medical college and hospital with foreign assistance.

The simmering discontentment among people could well go against the otherwise popular and clean image of Naveen Patnaik Government in this region.

Ironically, it was none-other-than the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who had laid the foundation stone for the medical college raising hopes of the people of Balangir for an early completion of the project, but their hopes are yet to be accomplished even after a decade-long time lag.
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Mar 3, 2009 at 1:00 AM
Kasturba school students seek extension of hostel facilities
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Pioneer News Service | Balangir

Students of the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGVB), a model school meant for providing education to dropout girls in rural areas, have expressed their desire to continue studies by staying in the hostel further.

“I do not want to go home as my parents are away and working in a brick kiln. So, once I go home, I have to accompany them disrupting my studies,” lamented Tarini Nag, a student of Class VIII of the school at Kanut near Belpada, before the Saintala MLA Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo, who was on a visit to the school recently.

“As there is no provision for hostel after Class VIII, I shall be forced to go home and bound to work along with my parents. So the school authorities should understand our plight and do the needful to let us continue studies,” Tarini said.

“After completing my education, I would like to be a teacher and would be delighted to teach the migrating children so that they don’t suffer like us in future,” she added.

Another student, Parbati Majhi, reading in the same school after completing her primary education in Bhutung Primary School, also expressed her desire to continue studies by staying in the hostel further.

Speaking to the newspersons, MLA Kalikesh Singh Deo said, “I have taken up the issue with the higher authority regarding extension of hostel facility to these students so that they can pursue their studies for a better future.”

“For all-round development, tribal students should be enrolled in reputed institutes like the KITS tribal school in Bhubaneswar. I would like to see that the tribal students of this backward region get enrolled there for a bright future. I am also trying to provide financial assistance to the girl students through RN Singh Deo Memorial Scholarship,” he assured further.

According to sources, a proposal for extension of hostel facility to girl students of KGVB till Class X of all the 11 KGVB in the district, including the KGVB School at Kanut, Belpada, has already been submitted to the Government.
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Sat, Mar 7, 2009 at 6:48 AM

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Rice at Rs 1; dal, onion, salt at subsidised rates, promises Cong

Sudhir Mishra | Balangir
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The politics over rice seems to be taking centre-stage in the campaigning by the major parties for the coming elections in the State. The Congress has now announced that the people below the poverty line (BPL) would be supplied rice at Rs 1 per kg if it comes to power.

Almost eight months ago, the ruling BJD-BJP alliance Government launched the Rs 2-a-kg rice scheme to the BPL families in the State and all families in the KBK region including both BPL and APL (above poverty line) to ensure their food security and enhance their nutrition status. Now, the Congress has gone a step ahead by promising a Rs 1-a-kg rice scheme.

At a conference of party workers of Balangir and Subarnapur districts here on Thursday, Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly Narasingha Mishra assured the people that in the event of the Congress forming the Government after the polls it would provide rice at Rs 1 per kg. Besides dal, onion and salt would also be supplied to people at subsidised and affordable prices, he promised.

Mishra said that during his recent visit to New Delhi he held discussions with Sonia Gandhi in this regard and this promise is going to find a place in the manifesto of the Congress. He claimed that the Rs 2-per kg-rice scheme was in fact a programme sponsored by the UPA Government at the Centre. The Centre is purchasing the rice at Rs 16 a kg and providing it to the State Government at Rs 5. Ironically, the State Government is taking credit only by providing Rs 3 only, he said further.

PCC working president Bhakta Charan Das, who was given a warm welcome, called upon the party cadre to forget any differences among them and work hard during the elections to dislodge the royal family of Balangir from the present political power.

Later, addressing the media Das hoped that the UPA would return to power at the Centre once again and the Congress would fare well in both Parliamentary and Assembly elections in the State.

Das criticised the "stepmotherly attitude" of the BJP-BJD Government towards this region, for which the area has been languishing in backwardness in the infrastructural sector like roads as well as in irrigation.

During the last eight years no major or medium irrigation projects have been undertaken in this district, which has irrigation facility only for 3 per cent of its land. Worse, the traditional irrigation projects are in the doldrums, he said further.

Das, however, virtually parried the question on the absence of former MP Sarat Pattanaik at the workers' conference, saying Pattnaik has gone to Bangalore on personal work and he is not going to contest elections from Balangir district. Asked to comment on who would be the Congress' Lok Sabha candidate from here, he said the candidates having best winnable prospects would be given tickets.


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Biju birth anniversary observed in Balangir

Balangir: At a function to mark the 93rd birth anniversary of Biju Patnaik here on Thursday, BJD president Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo recalled the valiant courage displayed by Patnaik in rescuing the Indonesian leaders and his contribution towards the development of the State. He called upon the party workers to work for uplift of poor and downtrodden. Statue of Patnaik was garlanded and fruits were distributed among the hospital inmates. Among others, Balangir Municipality chairperson Damayanti Bag and other BJD leaders spoke at the function.
Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 7:38 AM
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hide details 3/10/09
BJP-BJD-Congress contest in Balangir LS seat on the cards

Sudhir Mishra | Balangir

Anything can happen in politics. There is no permanent friend or enemy. This has been aptly proved after the collapse of the 11-year-long BJP-BJD alliance. The stage is now open for all political parties to try their luck at the hustings.

Till Saturday, the BJP-BJD coalition appeared determined to fight elections jointly to keep the Congress out of power. However, the snapping of the alliance has thrown up a new political equation, much to the surprise of many. This was despite the fact that the BJD circles were in an upbeat mood after their victory in the elections to urban local bodies and there were theories doing the rounds that BJD might go alone in the General elections.

Now, with the breaking up of the BJP-BJD alliance, it is going to be a triangular contest in Balangir Parliamentary constituency as was the case in the 1991 and 1996 elections.

In the 2004 polls, Sangeeta Singh Deo of the BJP won the Balangir Lok Sabha seat by defeating her Congress rival Sarat Pattanaik by a huge margin. This time, she will once again be in the race as the BJP candidate but will have to face two major rivals from the Congress and the BJD.

The Balangir Lok Sabha constituency earlier comprised all the six Assembly segments of Balangir district — Balangir, Loisingha, Saintala, Patnagarh, Titilagarh and Kantabanji — and the Nuapada Assembly constituency in the neighbouring Nuapada district.

After the delimitations of constituencies, the Saintala Assembly segment has been abolished and the Sonepur and Birmaharajpur Assembly segments in the contiguous Subarnapur district have been included in the Balangir parliamentary constituency, besides excluding the Nuapada Assembly seat.

Moreover, the Titilagarh Assembly constituency has been redrawn and made a general seat. It was earlier reserved for SCs. The earlier Loisingha general seat has been reserved for SCs and Sonepur has been made a general seat. Birmaharajpur has been redrawn and reserved for SCs.

After the breaking up of the BJP-BJD alliance, a totally new political chapter is going to open for the BJD in the Balangir Parliamentary constituency, with Works Minister AU Singh Deo and his MLA-son Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo being reportedly interested for the BJD ticket for the Lok Sabha seat. Although there is no official confirmation yet about who will be the BJD nominee, political observers feel Kalikesh Singh Deo has a better chance in view of his organisational skills and dynamism to infuse new sprit into the party, for which the BJD fared significantly well in the recent elections to the urban local bodies in Balangir district.

From the Congress, there are many in the race for the party ticket for the Lok Sabha seat. They include Deputy Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Narasingha Mishra, senior leader Radhakanta Panda, State Mahila Congress chief Asima Mahananda and secretary of the Sushree group of institutes Srikara Mishra.

In a surprise turn of events, another BJP leader, Lalit Nayak, has also applied for the BJP ticket for the Parliamentary seat, which he announced to the media on March 6.

The recently-launched Kosal Kranti Dal has projected Baidyanath Mishra as its candidate for the seat. Other political parties like the Sammruddha Odisha are also planning to field their candidates this time.
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Monday, June 20, 2011

Textbook shortage continues to mar teaching in schools June 21, 2011 11:10:16 AM

BHUBANESWAR | Tuesday, June 21, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back


Textbook shortage continues to mar teaching in schools
June 21, 2011 11:10:16 AM

PNS | Balangir

Even as the Right to Education (RTE) has become a Fundamental Right of the children below the 14 year age and the Government is committed to implement it, yet the shortage of textbooks continues to affect students in the Government-run schools here.

According to reports, when the schools were re-opened after the summer vacation, much to their chagrin, the students could not get the full textbooks supplied by the Government. Many students of class VII of PR High School at Balangir could not get history book. Even the Hindi text book supplied to the students of class VII had many pages missing.

This has irked many guardians here. “If the authorities could not provide schools with textbooks for the students, how are they going to ensure their education, let alone quality education?” a guardian asked and demanded a thorough inquiry into this matter.
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Friday, June 17, 2011

Paddy seed crunch set to hit farming in W Odisha June 18, 2011 8:00:05 AM

BHUBANESWAR | Saturday, June 18, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back
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Paddy seed crunch set to hit farming in W Odisha
June 18, 2011 8:00:05 AM
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SUDHIR MISHRA | Balangir

Even as the Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy assured the farmers in Balangir that adequate paddy seed would be supplied to the district within seven days during his visit last time in May, the ground realities reveal a different picture.

In Balangir and Subarnapur districts, even after a month to the Minister’s visit, paddy seed shortage problem remains unsolved.

According to sources, in Balangir district till June 16 against the requirement of 41, 000 quintals of paddy seeds, only 19,400 quintals have arrived. This is when the farming community is geared up for the sowing works.

Sources further revealed that by the time at least around 30,000 quintals of seeds should have been supplied and sold. With barely 50 per cent seed available, the sowing works are likely to be badly hit.

The most sought-after varieties by farmers are Puja and Swarnna, informs an official. In Sonepur district, the situation is almost the same.

Against the indent of 19, 500 quintals, only 8, 500 quintals have arrived. Deputy Director of Agriculture (DDA) Sonepur Amreshwar Mishra said, “We face the problem of storage godown and transport contractors. In the absence of storage godowns, we are giving orders only after the stock is exhausted. We appeal people not to rush for Swarnna and Puja varieties. Other varieties like BPT should also be cultivated. The seed productions of the two varieties were affected badly due to unseasonal rains in last December.”

Reports of seed shortage have come from Nuapada district and Padampur sub division of Bargarh district too. Unless the required paddy seed is expeditiously supplied to farmers of different districts it could affect the Kharif production in the long run.

Meanwhile, villagers of Phalsamaal of Ratakhandi GP in Loisingha block of Balangir district have alleged gross irregularities in crop damage compensation to farmers recently and they have demanded a through inquiry into it. In a petition to the district Collector, they have mentioned that in the VAW and Gaon Sathi disbursed the crop damage compensation cheque to farmers. However, it was found that many people who have no land got cheques and those having land did not receive any compensation.
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Balangir MP bats for rail wagon unit at Kantabanji June 18, 2011 7:50:21 AM

Balangir MP bats for rail wagon unit at Kantabanji
June 18, 2011 7:50:21 AM
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PNS | Balangir

Balangir MP Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo has demanded setting up the rail wagon manufacturing unit at Kantabanji in the district in view of availability of land and the economic backwardness of the area.

In a letter to Chairman, Railway Board, Vivek Sahai on June 16, Sing Deo has urged him to set up the unit at Kantabanji as land is available there which was donated by late RN Singhdeo during pre-Independence period.

“My grandfather late Maharaja RN Singh Deo had donated his personal land of approximate 400 acres for establishing the railway factory at Kantabanji. Since the land was donated for the purpose of the unit, it should be returned if the purpose is not met,” Singh Deo pointed out.

The land acquisition process is a highly sensitive and time taking exercise. It is also likely that the Railways could fall under criticism for acquisition of more land when it already has substantial land in its possession at Kantabanji for the wagon manufacturing unit, Singh Deo argued.

Moreover, a reply under an RTI application dated April 21, 2010 reveals that a total of 125 acres of vacant land at Kantabanji is currently in the possession of the Railways.
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

STATE EDITIONS | Bhopal Bhubaneswar Ranchi Kochi Lucknow Chandigarh Dehradun SUNDAY PIONEER | Agenda Foray
BHUBANESWAR | Thursday, June 16, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back

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Govt focuses on hybrid maize cultivation in 21 dists this year
June 16, 2011 12:57:54 AM

SUDHIR MISHRA | Balangir

Apparently worried over the reports in media against Monsanto company and other multinational seed companies entering into the State to boost hybrid maize production last year, this year a special drive to augment maize production in the Odisha has been taken with seed companies under Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojana(RKVY).

According to sources, this year maize cultivation has been taken up in 40,000hectares in Odisha against the last year’s 30,000hectares with the help of seven seed companies namely JKAgri Genetics Limited, Bisco Bio- Sciences Pvt Ltd, UPA Advanta Ltd, Bayer Bio –Science Ltd, PHI Seeds PVT limited, CP seeds Pvt Ltd, Nirmal Seeds Pvt Seeds Ltd and MAHYCO seeds Pvt Ltd.

The cultivation has been taken up in 21districts namely, Ganjam, Sonepur, Mayurbhanj, Nuapada, Jharsuguda, Gajapati, Nayagarh, Kalahandi, Bolangir, Sambalpur, Baragarh, Koraput, Malkangiri, Angul, Keonjhar, Kandhmaal, Boudh, Khurdha, Dhenkanal, Sundergarh and Rayagada over 40,000hectares. While last year Monsanto was allowed to take up maize cultivation in Balangir district, this year Bayer Bio-Science Ltd has been allowed to cultivate hybrid maize in the district.

The target of maize cultivation in Balangir this year is 2, 000 hectares and the variety approved for cultivation is PRO AGRO 4644, informed DDA Manoranjan Mallick.

Last year, the companies were supplying seeds and also their responsibility was to arrange training and field visit. However, this year there has been a change. According to guidelines, the selected farmer for the programme will purchase seeds from the company or authorized license dealer at Rs.100 per kg and obtain a valid cash memo. After the purchase, the farmer will take up the cultivation programme in his field and apply the basal dose of fertilizer in proper quantity and the line sowing with proper spacing.

After the sowing is completed, the farmers will produce the seed purchase memo to the BTT (block technology team)/AAO and will get money for fertiliser and other inputs. Before getting the cheque, the farmers will have to produce a permit issued by FIAC (Farm Information and Advisory Centre).

This year, an NGO has been involved in the operation that will ensure the application of basal dose and motivation to farmers’ registration and facilitation of training. Before release of the cheque, there would be field visit by the agriculture officials.

While the Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA) will ensure the timely arrival of seeds, the seed companies will organise one training programme for each 100 hectares and will organise at least one field day for 500 hectares at their own cost.

This year, there was a lot of uncertainty about the mode of cultivation but finally it was decided in the first week of June.
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BHUBANESWAR | Thursday, June 16, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back Commuters suffer as private buses off roads in Balangir June 16, 2011 12:14:57

BHUBANESWAR | Thursday, June 16, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back


Commuters suffer as private buses off roads in Balangir
June 16, 2011 12:14:57 AM

PNS | Balangir

The drive to control chaotic traffic in Balangir, by the new Superintendent of Police Awinash Kumar has taken a new turn with bus drivers of private buses deciding to stop the plying of buses on Wednesday .

With the buses off the roads communications have come to a grinding halt affecting the commuters. Irate people burnt tyres before the private bus stand protesting against the decision.

The bus drivers are protesting against the registration of cases against them, under section 304 of IPC, which is a non bailable offence. Earlier whenever a bus caused an accident usually it was booked under various sections of MV Act . Moreover, section 304(A) and 279 of IPC was also invoked which is bail-able and police can offer bail, pointed out a bus owner.

Sources said two drivers has been arrested under section 304and 326 of IPC recently. Section 304 of IPC is (culpable homicide causing to murder) and section 326 is grievous hurt caused by dangerous weapons.

“We are of the opinion that inappropriate sections of the IPC have been used in this case and we oppose it. We extend our support to drivers and other vehicle association has also supported us, said president of Balangir Private Bus Owners Association Praveen Mishra.

However , when contacted SP Kumar said “seeing the gravity of situation, we have used different sections of IPC. We have taken steps according to law.”

ocommuters suffer as private buses off roads in Balangir

BHUBANESWAR | Thursday, June 16, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back
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Commuters suffer as private buses off roads in Balangir
June 16, 2011 12:14:57 AM

PNS | Balangir

The drive to control chaotic traffic in Balangir, by the new Superintendent of Police Awinash Kumar has taken a new turn with bus drivers of private buses deciding to stop the plying of buses on Wednesday .

With the buses off the roads communications have come to a grinding halt affecting the commuters. Irate people burnt tyres before the private bus stand protesting against the decision.

The bus drivers are protesting against the registration of cases against them, under section 304 of IPC, which is a non bailable offence. Earlier whenever a bus caused an accident usually it was booked under various sections of MV Act . Moreover, section 304(A) and 279 of IPC was also invoked which is bail-able and police can offer bail, pointed out a bus owner.

Sources said two drivers has been arrested under section 304and 326 of IPC recently. Section 304 of IPC is (culpable homicide causing to murder) and section 326 is grievous hurt caused by dangerous weapons.

“We are of the opinion that inappropriate sections of the IPC have been used in this case and we oppose it. We extend our support to drivers and other vehicle association has also supported us, said president of Balangir Private Bus Owners Association Praveen Mishra.

However , when contacted SP Kumar said “seeing the gravity of situation, we have used different sections of IPC. We have taken steps according to law.”
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Monday, June 13, 2011

Parties gear up for panchayat poll in Balangir

BHUBANESWAR | Monday, June 13, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back


Parties gear up for panchayat poll in Balangir
June 13, 2011 1:35:03 PM

PNS | Balangir

Even though elections to the Panchyati Raj bodies are seven to eight months away, political parties have begun gearing up for the poll battle in Balangir district.

The newly-formed political outfit, Kosal Kranti Dal (KKD), seems to be ahead of others in this respect. At its central general council meeting held on Saturday at Sonepur, 50 km from here, the KKD urged people to vote for those candidates who are supporting and demanding a separate Kosal State.

The KKD would participate in the forthcoming panchayat elections with the agenda of formation of Kosal State, said party president Pramod Mishra. A committee has been formed to prepare the details of the party strategy and manifesto, he informed.

Attended by its representatives from the districts of Subarnapur, Boudh, Sundargarh, Jharsugda and Sambalpur and other parts of the western Odisha, the meeting also decided to support the agitation against corruption, scrapping of setting up of the proposed power plants at Titilagarh and Birmaharajpur and observation of Kosali Mother Tongue Day on February 21 next year.

Odia girl selected for fellowship in US

Odia girl selected for fellowship in US
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BHUBANESWAR | Monday, June 13, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back


Odia girl selected for fellowship in US
June 13, 2011 1:20:30 PM

PNS | Balangir

Odia girl Sonali Mohapatra, a third year student of Integrated MS at IISER-Kolkata, has been awarded the SURF Fellowship at California Institute of Technology for a 10-week project on ‘Detection of Gravitational Waves’ under LIGO, Caltech. Sonali is one of the lucky of five Indians who has been selected at Caltech this summer.

An avid debater, a voracious reader and a passionate musician and composer, Sonali has various accolades to her credit. Earlier, she has been recognised as one of the 26 talented children of the State in the 2005 publication titled ‘HOPE’ by the State Government and has been dubbed ‘the little madam curie.’

Her interest in research was evident from her childhood when her project was selected as one of the best 48 in the nation in Natuional Children’s Science Congress 2004 and she got a chance to interact with the then President of India, APJ Abdul Kalam, says her father Promod Mahapatra, who is currently posted as RMC secretary at Balangir.

Sonali was awarded the Best National Speaker at Pratijja 2007, Best Social Worker 2006 by Peacock, 2nd Best Parliamentarian in Youth Parliament and best student of the BJEM School in 2008.
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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Justice for irrigation work-charge employees urgedaBHUBANESWAR | Saturday, June 11, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back


Justice for irrigation work-charge employees urged.
June 11, 2011 4:23:57 PM

PNS | Balangir

The Works and Irrigation Workers' Union has demanded pension scheme, retirement benefits for work-charge employees and their posting in vacant post besides regularisation of the services of the left-out NMR workers.

At a meeting held at the Lower Suktel Project office, the workers' union criticised the apathetic attitude of the project officials and the district administration towards the work-charge employees.

"While the work-charge workers are ready to work in the submerged areas of the Lower Suktel Irrigation Project, rather than giving them job and life security and speedily executing the project, the administration is looking the other way," said president of the Kosal Kranti Dal Pramod Mishra.

"Thanks to the apathy of the Government, the project cost has risen from `217 crore to `1,040 crore. Even though around ` 400 crore has been spent, the real work has not been started in the project areas and a lot of irregular activities have come to light in recent times," he alleged.

The other demands of the union include EPF schemes for the newly-recruited workers and filling up of vacant posts for Class-III and Class IV employees from among the work-charge employees.

Among others, Baniprasad Padhi, Prasanta Panigrahi, Rabishankar Mishra, Manoranjan Sahu and Bibhuti Bindhani addressed the meeting.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Police flag march with a difference at Balangir

Police flag march with a difference at Balangir
BHUBANESWAR | Friday, June 10, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back


Police flag march with a difference at Balangir
June 10, 2011 2:10:57 PM
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PNS | Balangir

The Balangir police on Thursday conducted a different kind of flag march in the town to thank the public for their cooperation in completing the celebrations of the mega festival of marriage of Goddess Parvarti with Lord Mahadev, popularly known as the Sital Sashti, peacefully.

This year, the Sital Sashti festival was observed with pomp and gaiety in seven localities of the town, including Gandhinagar, BBSS, ABSS, Brahmanpara and Tikrapada. On Wednesday, the deities returned to their respective homes after the divine wedding. The Baart and the deities’ homecoming were accompanied by performing singers and dancers.

This year, however, there was a remarkable decline in vulgar dances as they were restricted by the authorities after the police had convened a meeting of the Puja organisers and urged them to refrain from sponsoring offensive dances.

The police flag march was also aimed at impressing upon the people not to take law and order into their own hands and rather report any matter of dispute to the police.

Besides, the police also urged the people to follow traffic rules so that the chaotic traffic in the town is streamlined.
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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Delhi incident upsets Ramdev supporters in Balangir June 06, 2011 8:23:01 AM ==============================

Delhi incident upsets Ramdev supporters in Balangir
June 06, 2011 8:23:01 AM
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BHUBANESWAR | Monday, June 6, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back


Move to involve school HMs in MDM management stirs hornet’s nest
June 06, 2011 7:35:38 AM

SUDHIR MISHRA | Balangir

The recent decision of the Odisha Government to hand over the mid-day meal (MDM) scheme to School and Mass Education Department from Women and Child Development Department with a view to run it smoothly and avoid corruption has evoked reactions among social activists and teachers.

As per the recent development, the Government decision on the MDM, a joint bank account would be opened in the name of the headmaster and SHG or SMC member where the money will be deposited for MDM management.

MDM management in school is a difficult task. Ultimately, it will create problems for the study in school children, said social activists Khuturam Sunani of Khariar.

“An another important thing is to involve school head masters for management of the MDM is violation of Article 27 of RTE-2009 which states no teacher shall be deployed for any non-educational purposes other decennial population census, disaster relief duties or duties relating to election to the local authority or the State legislature or Parliament,” pointed out Sunani further.

At least one teacher in each primary/upper primary school would be engaged and this would affect the education imparting process in the schools, pointed out Bijaya Bisoi, a teacher.

Achyut Das, a leading social activist and representative of Odisha for the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) too echoed the same concern.

“It appears to be violation of RTE Act to involve teachers in the MDM management. I would draw the attention of the NCPCR in the matter”, he said.
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Move to involve school HMs in MDM management stirs hornet’s nest June 06, 2011 7:35:38 AM

BHUBANESWAR | Monday, June 6, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back


Move to involve school HMs in MDM management stirs hornet’s nest
June 06, 2011 7:35:38 AM

SUDHIR MISHRA | Balangir

The recent decision of the Odisha Government to hand over the mid-day meal (MDM) scheme to School and Mass Education Department from Women and Child Development Department with a view to run it smoothly and avoid corruption has evoked reactions among social activists and teachers.

As per the recent development, the Government decision on the MDM, a joint bank account would be opened in the name of the headmaster and SHG or SMC member where the money will be deposited for MDM management.

MDM management in school is a difficult task. Ultimately, it will create problems for the study in school children, said social activists Khuturam Sunani of Khariar.

“An another important thing is to involve school head masters for management of the MDM is violation of Article 27 of RTE-2009 which states no teacher shall be deployed for any non-educational purposes other decennial population census, disaster relief duties or duties relating to election to the local authority or the State legislature or Parliament,” pointed out Sunani further.

At least one teacher in each primary/upper primary school would be engaged and this would affect the education imparting process in the schools, pointed out Bijaya Bisoi, a teacher.

Achyut Das, a leading social activist and representative of Odisha for the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) too echoed the same concern.

“It appears to be violation of RTE Act to involve teachers in the MDM management. I would draw the attention of the NCPCR in the matter”, he said.
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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Odisha, C’garh, UP migrants rescued from TN brick kilns May 01, 2011 2:32:25 AM

BHUBANESWAR | Sunday, May 1, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back


Odisha, C’garh, UP migrants rescued from TN brick kilns
May 01, 2011 2:32:25 AM

SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR

In a mind-boggling revelation of the multi-faceted dynamics of the inter-State migration, 522 migrant labourers of Odisha, Chhattisgarh and even from Uttar Pradesh (UP) were reportedly rescued from a brick kilns near Chennai in Tamil Nadu on April 28.

According to reports, the 522 distress migrant workers were rescued from one SLG Brick Kiln in Bonthawakkam village of Ponneri Taluk, 45-km away from Chennai and under Tiruvellur district, following a joint operation launched by the TN Revenue officials, International Justice Mission and Aide et Action on Thursday.

Out of the 522 rescued, 495 are Odias from the migration-prone districts of Balangir, Nuapada, Rayagada and Nabarangpur while 19 are from Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and eight are from UP, including 170 children under the age group of 0-14 years and 59 children between the age group of 15-18 years, informed Aide et Action South Asian Head Umi Daniel.

Majority of them are Dalits, tribals and of other backward classes. There are five tribal families, 57 Dalit families and 82 families belonging to other backward classes, Daniel added.

Due to the untimely rain in Chennai in the last fifteen days, the brick-making was stopped at the worksite and the owner did not pay for the food allowance in the off days leaving them to starve. Even they were kept under captivation by the owner for the last six months, Daniel revealed.

One of the UP workers managed to escape and informed the local Sarpanch, who alerted the district administration and local NGO International Justice Mission and the volunteers of Aide et Action for appropriate action.

Many of them are sick while the children are underfed and malnourished.

After the rescue operation, the local Revenue officials headed by Revenue Division Officer (RDO) Kandhasamy and Tehsildar M Gandhi arranged a health camp to address their immediate health needs besides immediate food and shelter at the nearby higher secondary school there.

It is observed that many labourers are physically tortured as evident from the wounds and scars on their body. As per the revenue officials, the rescued families had got advance money ranging from Rs 3,000 to Rs 7,000 last year through a middle man of Kantabanjhi block, the migration source area of Balangir district.

Initially, they were promised good pay and food, but were not paid as per the promise and were not even given food for many days.

They also complained that they were not given food for the last fifteen days just prior to the rescue operation and were physically tortured by the goons of the brick kiln owner whenever they dared to go out.

They were made to work late hours in the brick chambers between 6 pm and 4 am and in the day time, they had to frame and dry brick in the sun. Tiruvellur District Collector DP Rajesh declared 371 labourers as bonded labour and issued certificate thereof.

While distributing the release certificates, the Collector said that the loan which the people have borrowed from the brick kiln owners stands nullified and they are free from the bondage.

Under the Bonded Labour (Abolition) Act-1976, there is a provision for providing Rs 20,000 each bonded labourer for rehabilitation.

Ponneri RDO S Kandaswamy said that they would give Rs 1,000 each as immediate relief and the balance amount from the Government of India support for the released bonded labourers will be paid by the Odisha Government once they reach there.

The TN Labour Department has informed its Odisha counterpart while three senior district labour officers have rushed there to facilitate the repatriation of the freed labourers. Both the International Justice Mission and Aide et Action field functionaries in Tamil Nadu are working closely with the Government for the repatriation.

According to latest information, the rescued migrants are being sent to their respective home districts through three special train bogies.

While one bogy will be attached to the Dhanbad Express, another will carry them to Vyjayanagaram to be attached to the Hyderabad-Sambalpur Express and the third bogy will also be attached to the Dhanbad Express.

The 138 migrants of Nuapada district are scheduled to reach Titilagarh on Sunday.

As per the 2001 Census, more than seven lakh population in Odisha has been shown as migrant labourers while informal studies indicate a dismal figure of 20 lakh population as migrants, particularly from western and southern regions of Odisha.

Most of the migrations in these regions are due to debt, distress and non- registration of inter-State migrant workers and thus, giving the middlemen and kiln owners a freehand to extract cheap labour through unscrupulous practice, said Daniel.

He also stated that rapid industrialisation and urbanisation due to neo-liberal policies have also contributed to migration of the poor from rural Odisha.

The failure of the Government’s social security measures and rising unemployment pushing large scale of migration to various cities in and out of Odisha.

There is huge gap between the policy initiatives and the ground reality. There is also no clear-cut policy on migration both at the national and State levels besides the Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act-1979.

As this Act only deals with the problems of inter-State migrants where as there are huge number of migrants within the State who are not covered by any special Act or policy and are languishing due to exploitation, observed Daniel.

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Fast-growing parthenium poses health risk in Balangir June 04, 2011 12:05:44 PM

BHUBANESWAR | Saturday, June 4, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back


Fast-growing parthenium poses health risk in Balangir
June 04, 2011 12:05:44 PM

SUDHIR MISHRA | Balangir

Much to the chagrin of the environmentalists, parthenium grass is growing fast and spreading to greater areas in Balangir town here. The grass is conspicuous wherever you go, be it inside the district headquarters hospital (DHH), PHD Office, inside the Ayurvedic College or any open field in the town.

Parthenium or congress grass or carrot weed is one of the most noxious weeds of the world belonging to the family of sunflower (asteraceae). It was accidentally introduced in India in the late 1950s. It now spreads over most part of the country sharing the niche of other plants.

“Its adaptability is amazing. Probably its long flowering pattern extending up to six to seven months is regulating the factor.

Neither ornamental nor edible, the weed is a curse of nature for human beings and other wild animals,” says a Lecturer in botany Aswini Rath. The parts of the weed, including the pollen, contain toxins called sesquiterpene lactones having parthenin and other phenolic acids (eg anisic acid, caffeic acid etc).

Direct contact induces severe skin allergy known as parthenium dermatitis in exposed parts, affecting hands, face, neck and even eye lids. Its management needs long-term corticosteroids administration in the patient. It is also known to cause asthma, bronchitis and hay-fever in man and livestock, Rath says further.

The plants should be uprooted before flowering and buried or killed with suitable weedicides or burnt to get rid of it, Rath opines. CDMO Dr PC Sahu says the weed causes skin allergies and aggravates asthma. But when asked about the fast growing weed inside the hospital premises, Sahu said, “I would certainly take steps to clear it very soon.”

Massive public awareness and participation is very essential for the eradication of the obnoxious plant.

‘Criminals, Maoists to be dealt with firmly in Balangir’ June 04, 2011 11:44:17 AM

BHUBANESWAR | Saturday, June 4, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back


‘Criminals, Maoists to be dealt with firmly in Balangir’
June 04, 2011 11:44:17 AM

PNS | Balangir

Tackling law and order, traffic and Maoist problem would receive top priority. Criminals would be sternly dealt with, said new SP of Balangir district Abinash Kumar here on Thursday.

“We shall see to it that no innocent person is harassed. Let the community get the benefits of community policing police, he told the media.

The police-public relation would also be improved further. “We appeal to people to inform us whenever any incident takes place and not to take law into their own hands as the police will definitely act,” Abinash Kumar said. He also urged the mediapersons to share information with the police for prompt and appropriate action.

“Many people have complained to me about the chaotic traffic problem of Balangir town, and I will definitely look into it,” he said.

He also said that he would see to it that dances in the forthcoming Sitaalsashti Yatra are performed as “permitted by law.”

“We will tackle the Maoist problem in the district though better intelligence collection, besides winning the hearts of people by providing them all the benefits of Government programmes, Kumar said further.

Distress migration afflicts Odisha’s child labourers November 15, 2010 9:12:57 AM

Dear all,
I had covered the distress migration of children in a story in the Pioneer in November,15,2010.I enclose the story for your perusal.
with best wishes
yours
SudhirMishra/Pioneer/Balangir
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BHUBANESWAR | Monday, November 15, 2010 | Email | Print | | Back


Distress migration afflicts Odisha’s child labourers
November 15, 2010 9:12:57 AM

SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR

Even as the entire nation observed the Children’s Day on Sunday, sending the message that a child is the future of the nation and need to be nurtured and grown properly, hundreds of children from western Odisha migrated with their parents to work in inhuman conditions for prolonged hours in the brick kilns and in other spheres in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and other States.

“I have no other option but to migrate with my parents due to poverty and food insecurity and my parents cannot afford my education,” said Tapaswini Parta of Talijuri village after returning from Andhra Pradesh in June.

Every year, around 40,000 children migrate from the district alone, help their parents in the brick kilns, perform all sorts of hazardous works living in perilous conditions and facing exploitations of all kinds, physical, mental and other abuses, revealed Santosh Padhy of Action Aid.

Constituting important parts of Pathuriaa, the unit of migrating family, comprising wife, husband and children, the below14-year-old children accompany their parents to the brick kiln sites to work as carriers of raw bricks and other household chores there. Nuankhai, that marks the beginning of festivity in the western Odisha, also begins the process of migration.Migration is going on in this region for the last four decades and to accompany their parents, the children also migrate with them.

“It is disgusting that distress migration, especially child migration to the brick kilns, going on from the region for the last few decades should be stopped. The civil society organisations should rethink and redraft their strategies to prevent this,” Action Aid regional manager Amar Jyoti Nayak had observed few months ago while speaking at the Balangir Zilla Lok Sammelan.

Notably, Balangir district is not the lone case of child migration. It is also taking place in Nuapada district and Padampur subdivision in Bargarh district, ironically dubbed to be the rice bowl of Odisha, Nayak rued.

Every year, out of the 30,000 people migrating from Nuapada district, 13 per cent are children. The number usually goes up in a drought year, said Abani Mohan Panigrahi of Lok Drusti, Khariar. A survey by the Lok Drusti in 2004 revealed that 1, 4455 people, including 1,036 children migrated from 120 villages in Nuapada district.

Such a migration is also continuing from Gaisellete, Jharbandh, Paikmaal and Padampur subdivision in Bargarh district.

According to a report of the Samuhik Marudi Pratikar Udyaam, Padampur, around 20,000 people migrate from western Odisha and other parts of Chhattisgarh every year. Those who migrate to other parts of western Odisha to harvest paddy, also carry their children. And, those who migrate to Raipur (Chhattisgarh) to pull rickshaw to earn their livelihood, also carry their children. One-fourth of the total migrant constitutes the children.

Migration has become a big business in western Odisha. As the poor get a huge amount of money at a time, they are migrating. The total advance amount given by the dalals/sardar in Nuapada district amounts to around 5.6 crore in 120 villages. In Balangir district, the amount involved in the annual migration process is around `100 crore.

As the child migrates with their parents and stays there for minimum six months, it results in disruption of studies and school dropouts.

After returning, it is difficult to get enrolled again and the child is forced to earn his livelihood as a daily wager.

The Government is making tall claims of providing education to all and to enroll the children for which the Sarva Sikshya Abhijan (SSA) has been launched, yet large numbers of children are migrating every year resulting in dropouts.

To take care of the education of the migrant children, the Residential Care Centers (RCC) were opened in 2002 on experimental basis in Balangir district with the participation of Community Based Organisations (CBOs) where the children stayed and pursued their studies.

Buoyed with the success, it was extended to Nuapada and Bargarh districts with active involvements of the CBOs/NGOs and participation of the community. However, after the initial good response from the SSA, it became a mere official formality by opening of the centres too late and keeping non-migrant children there.

Migration cannot be stopped and steps should be taken to streamline the process. Residential Care Centres (RCC) should be opened before November and managed with participation and involvement of the community and function properly to check child migration. It should not be treated as an official centre with the block level resource coordinator and SI, but the community to be involved sincerely.

If the centers are opened by October and with involvement of the community, a migrant parent would believe and leave his/her children there rather than believing in the words of the officials.

Last year, 49 RCC centres were opened in Balangir district and a total of 1,342 students were there.

The centres were opened in February and were managed by the Village Education Committee (VEC), said an SSA official here.

This year we expect to open the RCC centres by the first week of December, the officials informed further.

The Right to Education Act in its clause 5.2 states, “whereas child is required to move from one school to another, either within a State or outside for any reason whatsoever, such childshall have a right to seek transfer to any other school excluding the school specified in sub-clauses (iii) and (iv) of clause of clause Section 2, for completing his or her elementary education”.

“There should be inter-State collaboration between Odisha and Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu to provide admission of migrated children in the schools of migrating State”, opined Santosh Padhy.

There should be comprehensive intervention in streamlining the migration process, reducing exploitation and ensuring education for the children through the RCCs. A direct dialogue should be made with the principal employer and the brick kiln owners to avoid exploitation and distress condition through middlemen, opined Saroj Barik of ADHAR.

A comprehensive detailed mapping of the migrant children must be done in the western region so that the exact number of children migrating could be known and intervention be developed, Padhy quipped.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Exclusive Balangir Haat to come up in BhubaneswarBHUBANESWAR | Thursday, June 2, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back Exclusive Balangir Haat to come up in Bhubaneswar June 02, 2011 8:04:11 AM

BHUBANESWAR | Thursday, June 2, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back


Exclusive Balangir Haat to come up in Bhubaneswar
June 02, 2011 8:04:11 AM

PNS | Balangir

The first ever visit of State Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy to Balangir began with interaction with farmers and a promise to open a Balangir Haat (market) at Bhubaneswar to prevent the distress sale of vegetables, tomato, and mango within a month, besides directing the official to visit the field and attending the grievance of farmers.

Accompanied by Principal Secretary RL Jamuda, Director Agriculture RS Gopalan and Director of Horticulture and Watershed, Maharathi listened to the farmers’ complaints. The majority of complains of farmers were related to distress sale of paddy, tomato, vegetables, hike in subsidy for digging well, shortage of paddy seed and revival of cold storage.

“No new paddy seed is arriving here. Farmers have to wait for hours to get a bag of paddy in Puintala block. With a bag of paddy what will he do?,” asked ex- MLA Muralidhar Guru to the delegation.

Besides the official sale centre, the sale centre opened under the Chief Minister’s package is yet to function. Those who have opened sale centres are yet to get their commission of last year, alleged a few farmers.

Reacting to complaints of distress sale of tomato, onion and other vegetables, Maharathi announced that a Balangir Haat would be opened at Unit –1 in Bhubneshwar within a month where farmers would sell their produce directly and get benefit. He also assured that adequate amount of seed would be sent to the district by June 15.

Reacting a to a complaint that farmers in Puintal block have not received their compensation amount, Maharathy directed the District Collector to disburse it within three days so that farmer could procure seeds and other items.

A new dress code is also in the offing for the village agriculture workers and it would be implemented within a year, informed Maharathi and directed the VAWs and other officials to treat the farmers with dignity and listen to their grievances with patience. A direct communication line would be opened between the farmers and the Ministry, he informed further.

In 1996 during the severe drought, the district administration decided to construct a tank by the side of each tube well so that a person taking water from tube well would pour some water in it and the cattle and other animals would drink water from there. However, the scheme failed with structures either damaged or non-existent, Minister was told.

The farmers said that the Government has decided to provide 90 per cent subsidy if four farmers in a cluster dig deep bore well but a deep bore well is making a tube well dry. So they suggested to the Minister to rethink over it.

To provide solution to the problem of harassment by banks in opening of account, Director Agriculture RS Gopalan directed the District Collector to take necessary steps to open zero balance account in the bank and action against them not cooperating. Gopalan also assured that the defunct seed processing unit in the district would be made functional in a month. A total of 35 farmers were honoured with shawl and citation on the occasion.
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